Potluck picnic from 11AM to 12:30 PM
Airplane takeoff and scattering of ashes starts at 1:00 PM.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Ralph Noble Jones -- Memorial Gathering and Celebration of Life
Potluck picnic from 11AM to 12:30 PM
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Canned Goods and Iced Tea
ESL students find -ed words hard to recognize and even harder to pronounce, whether they are being used as part of a past tense verb or as an adjective. (Add an -ly to make the adjective into an adverb and pronunciation becomes a double challenge.)
Adding to the problem is the increasing dropping of the -ed by English-speakers themselves during adjective usage! I first saw a grocery aisle with the sign "Can Goods" 40, or maybe even 50 years ago. The English teacher in me said, "No! I must talk to the store manager about this!" Of course I didn't, and over the years supermarkets have almost universally adopted the shortened version.
Equally disturbing is the number of restaurant menus offering "ice tea" instead of "iced tea". A quick Google search found that Grubhub says, "Find your favorite ice tea delivery near you..." but Olive Garden still advertises "Fresh Brewed Iced Tea...". (I think they meant to say, "FreshLY Brewed Iced Tea..."}
Well, languages do change. In 100 more years there may be only a shorten' version of "well behav' dogs" or "promise' land" or "hard-boil' eggs". At least that will make the language easier for ESL students.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
A Smuggling Story
Thanks to the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form N-400 Part 12, I found just the vocabulary needed for a story about inter-galactic smuggling. It's under the Portfolio tab in the section "Inter-Galactic Agricultural and Mechanical Corp Dialogs" and it's called "Shipping Department Gossip".
This is vocabulary practice for people preparing for citizenship, but it's also a lesson on the use and pronunciation of -ed words and -tion words as well as the use of reductions.
My character, Zook uses very colloquial English but also seems to know some more sophisticated legal terms.
And his second cousin, Zelda, who is featured in the "All Around My Mouth" poem called "Happy Hour with Zook and Wulf", mentions she hasn't been around because she "took a good, long rest" after winning the Melbourne Cup.
Since, in an earlier dialog, Zook referred to his "hoof" rather than his "foot", I'm beginning to wonder exactly what these guys look like.
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Does English Drive You Bananas?
Thanks to Liz Bigler in the Facebook "My Color Vowel Community" for sharing this cartoon (originally posted at Cover Band Central.)
Sunday, August 1, 2021
Today's English learner has wonderful options for hearing the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word. Online dictionaries typically give you an audio file, definitions, examples of the word in a sentence, synonyms, sometimes a translation, and more. Among these are:
Dictionary.com (American Pronunciation)The Free Dictionary (American & British Pronunciations)Howjsay.com (British Pronunciation)Merriam-Webster (American Pronunciation)And More.
Then, there are a multitude of stand-alone pocket dictionaries and translators plus apps which turn your cellphone into such a device. If you are an ESL student learning English with the help of the Color Vowel® Chart, the "Blue Canoe Pronunciation Dictionary" app will give you the color as well. A free version is available at Blue Canoe Learning.
Google Translate also works as a pronunciation app and there are many text-to-speech apps available. Again, if you want to use color vowels to enhance your learning, Blue Canoe also offers a free computer browser add-on so that you can highlight an unfamiliar word in a browser search result, getting definition and pronunciation on the fly.
What if you have heard a new word but don't know how it is spelled? Is there a talking dictionary where you can speak the word into a microphone and have it return the likely possibilities with definitions? There are talking dictionaries developed for the blind; however I have no experience with them. Alexa might work! She will give me definitions and translations; however I have to pronounce the term quite clearly for her to understand.